With the considerable amount of albums that we receive for review each month, it is quite hard for one of them to standout as much as Varaha’s self-titled EP did. Featuring 15 minutes of uniquely blended Post-Rock/Doom/Gothic Rock influences into a highly atmospheric canvas, the band crafts three lush tracks that leave the listener wanting a lot more.
Opening with the melodramatic riffs of “Cubicle”, we are instantly impressed as the song weaves back and forth between Doom and Post-Rock elements while delivering killer clean vocal sections by Fabio Brienza. Once you feel that you have the band pegged down, they switch the script as the clean vocals turn into blistering shrieks while the intensity of the drumming and riffing picks up. All of this magic happens… on the first track.
Delivering 10 tracks of radio friendly Alternative Rock/Metal, today we have France’s Evenline and their latest full-length release “In Tenebris”. With a mixture of influences from Alter Bridge, Papa Roach, and similar outfits, this release showcases a band perfecting their craft through highly engaging and entertaining songs. If you are a fan of the more listener-friendly heavy music, this release will certainly go well in your collection.
Opening with the soaring vocal melodies of “All Against Me” and the catchy riffs of “Straitjacket”, the band does an excellent job in delivering memorable songs that are equally catchy and engaging. Band’s vocalist Arnaud Gueziec as the perfect sound for such a band, and his talents propel songs like “Silene Capensis” and “Echoes of Silence”, both of which also show his heavier side with harsher screams mixed in between.
Delivering one of the most pungent and demoralizing Black Metal onslaughts of 2017, today we have Alaska’s Arria Paetus and their debut self-titled full-length release. Unleashing over 43 minutes of punishing music split in seven tracks, the band perfectly balances unrivaled brutality with melody and rawness. Reminding us of underground bands like Avzhia and more known outfits like Sargeist and Naxul, this band will take you by surprise.
Opening with the crushing “Slash Your Flesh, Drink to Death”, the band wastes no time in delivering gut-wrenching shrieks and dissonant riffs that slowly build up to total brutality. The savagery unleashed upon the listener on tracks like “Exsanguine” and “The Entropic Hive” perfectly demonstrate the band’s misanthropic views laid on their lyrics.
Hailing from Belgium, today we have the always improving Symphonic Black Metal outfit Saille and their fourth full-length release “Gnosis”. Returning with their highly melodic music, the band manages to craft 45 minutes divided in nine tracks that showcase their musical evolution in to a cleaner and leaner outfit since their conception. After releasing 3 albums in a span of 4 years, the band took more than two years to fully prepare and unleash this near perfect gem into the world.
Opening with the melodic riffing of “Benei ha'Elohim”, the band slowly introduces their clean cut musical style that remind us of bands like Apostasy, Old Man's Child, and Emperor. Things get catchier with the Dimmu Borgir-esque “Pandaemonium Gathers”, the perfect contrast between funky keyboards and pummeling drums/guitars make this song quite interesting and engaging. The killer solos and melancholic guitars in “Blôt” brilliantly complement Dennie Grondelaers mixture of growls and shrieks, making this track one of the most complete and diverse pieces in this release.
Keeping the old-school Death Metal flame alive, today we have Memoriam and their 7” vinyl release “The Hellfire Demos II”. Featuring members of Bolt Thrower and Benediction, this band gives us a taste of their crushing sound with two very promising tracks. If you grew up with late 80’s and early 90’s Death Metal, this release brings back that familiar rawness and catchiness of the era.
Opening with “Drone Strike”, the band’s vocalist Karl Willetts instantly delivers his raspy vocals to a very powerful mix of pummeling riffs and tight drumming. The song’s tempo perfectly allows the listener to headbang to it while keeping things aggressive. The band does a pretty solid job in delivering a timeless Death Metal vibe with their music.
Perfectly capturing feeling of grief and sorrow, today we have Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal outfit Illimitable Dolor and their self-titled debut release. Clocking in at around 45 minutes, this release delivers four crushing tracks of Skepticism, Thergothon and Mournful Congregation inspired music that will darken your soul by the first few minutes.
Opening with the majestic weeping guitars and atmospheric keys of “Rail of Moon, A Stone”, the band sets a very high bar in terms of melancholy. Perfectly weaving back and forth between punishing riffs and slowly paced drumming, the band creates a very powerful and retro vibe sending chills down the listeners’ spine. Things pick up a bit with the moody “Comet Dies or Shines”, a song which features interesting tempo changes and even more dramatic keyboard arrangements.
Keeping things as weird and unique as possible, today we have the legendary Fleurety and their latest EP titled “Fragmenta Cuinsvis Aetatis Contemporaneae”. Released as a 7” vinyl, the listener gets two more windows in to the band’s unique, and pretty deranged, musical vision. If you like weird stuff, this is definitely something you need to check out.
Very far from their Black Metal origins in the seminal “Min tid skal komme”, the band has continued to evolve over the years perfectly creating a very bizarre sound that just keeps getting better and better with time. Exhibit A in this release is the trippy “Consensus”, a song that is quite experimental with influences ranging from Noise to Drone and all the way to Jazz. This piece creates a very dissonant and uncomfortable atmosphere that is equally brilliant and insane at the same time.
Delivering one the of most brutal and yet melancholic releases of the last few years, today we have French newcomers Au Champ des Morts and their demoralizing debut release “Dans la Joie”. Featuring seven tracks of brilliant Black Metal, the band blends influences from outfits like Anorexia Nervosa, Shade Empire, etc. with some Post-Black Metal sprinkles thrown into the mix. If you are only going to buy one album this month, better make sure it is this one.
The mournful explosiveness of “Nos Decombres” perfectly sets the mood for this release. Mixing highly melancholic riffs with gut-wrenching vocals, this album opens with a killer bang. This opening track is loaded with raw emotions nearing its end, making it quite the experience… and it is only the first six minutes. Keeping things melodic and yet highly dissonant, the oppressive riffing of “Apres Le Carnage” brilliantly continues the album’s ravaging pace.
Fully exploiting the band’s newfound strengths around singer Dianne van Giersbergen, Xandria delivers one of the best Symphonic/Gothic Metal albums of the last few months with “Theater of Dimensions”. Crafting over 74 minutes of lush and bombastic songs, the band reaches the levels of excellence of bands like Epica, Within Temptation and Nightwish with this killer release filled with epic melodies and mesmerizing arrangements.
Opening with the very dramatic and engaging “Where the Heart is Home”, we instantly get a superbly epic vibe thanks to the vocal arrangements and over the top orchestrations. The band quickly showcases their very diverse musical style while going through excellent songs like “Death to the Holy”, “Forsaken Love” and “Call of Destiny”, all of them showing influences from everything ranging from Power Metal to Folk Metal, but with the distinctive Xandria edge.
Blurring the lines between Doom, Post-Metal and Shoegaze, today we have Glare of the Sun and their monumental debut release “Soil”. Featuring eight tracks of quite diverse and engaging music, this Austrian/German outfit delivers thunderous riffs crafted to perfection for very moody songs. This band manages to craft a unique musical vision out of more traditional influences, delivering a powerful initial statement.
After opening with the dreamy instrumental “Awoken”, the band fully immerses the listener into their perfect mixture of atmospheric guitars with heavy Doom-esque riffs in “One Step Nothing”. Alternating vocal styles between harsh screams and eerie clean vocals, the bad creates a very enveloping atmosphere that instantly grabs the listener with its surreal soundscapes. In the first few songs Glare of the Sun manages to craft very intricate and engaging songs that are hard to peg down to a single genre or influence.